The 2017 total solar eclipse is an exciting opportunity to engage groups such as ours in an incredibly meaningful way. We believe strongly in giving the student participants career-making opportunities and endeavor to use the most cutting-edge tools, resources, and interactions with experts in science and engineering in our efforts.
Goals for the Eclipse Ballooning Project are:
- Public engagement. Total eclipses are rare and very impactful events. The continental US hasn’t had a total eclipse since 1979. The Eclipse Ballooning Project is in a unique position to engage both students and the general public in an awe-inspiring and educational way —as the event takes place.
- Workforce development. This project presents an amazing hands-on learning opportunity for the hundreds of participating students, one that will surely have lasting effects on their activities, both personal and professional.
- Lasting collaborations. Several long-lasting partnerships with other universities, federal agencies, and industrial partners have developed and will continue to mature.
We educators talk about such real-world experiences for students all the time, yet often funding constraints restrict a program’s ability to execute. The engagement shown by students, mentors, faculty, and staff in the eclipse ballooning campaign to this point has already far exceeded our resources to fund everyone. With one-quarter of the US population thinking the sun revolves around Earth (2014 NSF survey), we do not want to turn anyone away who has an interest in science and the ability to participate in this valuable and likely once-in-a-lifetime educational experience.
We have done an amazing amount of work to bring this project to this point with limited resources, but…
We need your help. Many of the student teams are struggling to find resources to cover travel to their eclipse site, testing supplies, and other needs.
Please consider donating to the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project effort via the National Space Grant Foundation (the Foundation). The Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Each donor will receive a receipt for their records. Funds will go student teams based on need and merit.